We all have at least one friend who would be happy being outside all day, every day—regardless of the weather. For the rugged outdoorsman who usually shuns newfangled technology and gizmos, there are still some awesome gadgets out there that add to the wilderness experience while not being considered cheating. If you’ve ever had trouble thinking of the perfect gift for someone who would be content to venture into the woods with just the clothes on their back, check out some of the following.
If you’re about to go on an outdoor adventure without a pocket knife handy, you’re doing it wrong. Whether your friend enjoys fishing, hunting, or camping, there are a variety of pocket knives available that will serve many different purposes throughout their day. A pocket knife can be used for protection from wild animals, to cut through brambles, or to prepare first aid bandages if necessary. Make sure your outdoorsy pal is well-prepared for their next excursion.
Though they can be found outside at any time of the year, your friend likely has one outdoor hobby that they tend to favor. You may want to get your hunting friend a scope for their rifle, hunting glasses, or a clay throwing set for target practice during the offseason. Your fishing buddy, believe it or not, would likely be content receiving the basics: hooks, lines, sinkers, and lures. Just make sure you know exactly what type to get—fishermen are particular like that.
I know, I know—most cell phones have a compass built into them nowadays. But so much can go wrong when relying on cell phones. With a steady, non-battery-reliant compass, you can be sure your outdoorsy friend will always know which direction they’re headed. They won’t have to fumble with their phone while wearing gloves, and can clip the compass right to their belt loop. And, if it’s raining or snowing, they won’t have to risk the safety of their electronics to figure out which way to go. Sometimes, simpler is better.
Anyone who spends more than a couple hours in the woods is going to need some refreshment at some point. For the camper who loves waking up in the middle of nowhere, but still needs their morning cup of coffee, there’s the Aeropress coffee maker. All they’ll need is ground coffee beans, hot water, and an insulated mug, and they’ve got it made.
For those who choose not to rely on store-bought water while out in the woods, you should at least make sure they have a Lifestraw with them. This portable filter makes water from any source drinkable, regardless of how murky it is. It’s a necessary gadget for anyone entering the woods; you can never be too safe when it comes to staying hydrated.
Like I said before, some people prefer to head into the woods with only the clothes on their backs. You can at least make sure the clothes they have will protect them from the elements, especially in the winter. Heavy duty hiking boots will keep their feet nice and warm, and protect them from ticks and other disease-carrying bugs. Flannel shirts and flannel-lined jeans might seem a little cumbersome, but will be an absolute necessity after spending a few hours in the cold. If you’re buying them gloves, make sure they’re Gore-Tex—waterproof, weather-proof, and durable.
Rest and Relaxation
Outdoorsmen may be active, but they also use the woods to relax as well. A durable, hangable hammock will give your pal a chance to recharge in peace before they head back to the real world for the week. If you know they’d rather spend a week camping than in a beach house in the summer, you could give them some camping chairs or sleeping bags that will stand the test of time and weather. Give the gift of R&R to a buddy, and you’ll have a friend for life.
Featured photo credit: Quiet Fishermanm, Lake Alpine, California / Moonjazz via farm5.staticflickr.com